Explaining the absence of birdlife in my garden

The robin that visits daily, with his plumage in transition.

It was lovely to see the frog the other day, but I have been so disappointed that there were no birds.  Seagulls and crows are around, although not in huge numbers, but there are no small brown jobs.  There were plenty only a month or so ago, including a robin who wouldn’t stay out of the house.  I thought when I raked up the garden cut grass and leaves that that would bring out robins and blackbirds, but not one appeared.  The bird feeder is completely neglected.  I tried putting seed down to lure them in, but nothing appeared.  The BBC provided the answers with a fascinating little article on the Springwatch section of the BBC website.  This informs the reader that birds do vanish at this time of year for a number of reasons, and that they will be back soon:

  • Parents are no longer feeding chicks, and chicks have left for new territories
  • Plenty of fresh berries are available in hedges and fields
  • Moulting takes place at this time of year and the replacement plumage is a huge drain on a bird’s energy, causing them to remain fairly sedentary under safe cover (the moult is visible in my photo of the robin, above)
  • With the need to attract a mate at an end for the summer, male birds no longer need to be visible or to sing their heads off to draw attention to themselves

In spite of that, I have managed to lure a robin onto the decking.  He’s shy, and as I only put down food when I can watch it due to the crows swooping in and consuming whatever they can, it has taken him a while to become confident that I am not going to engage in any swooping of my own.  At first when I appeared with the food he would fly away, but now he simply backs off a little and waits.  He keeps a wary eye on me but he is less nervous every day.  It feels like an achievement, although I am not quite sure why.  A small sparrow has also discovered the feeder, and there is currently a truce in progress but it looks like a somewhat fragile contract.

 

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